Friday, May 30, 2014

NEW. Good and Bad. Friday Faves and Raves

What a week… I hardly know where to begin… 

We started the week with a lovely long walk early Sunday morning and then The Captain made us a nice breakfast… omelets with lots of veggies and ham, and some ruby grapefruit alongside. I love these Texas grapefruits.  They are so flavorful and so juicy, too.

May 25 breakfast 001

I have to admit it felt pretty good to get back on track food-wise after all the birthday week indulgences.

And on Monday we got back on the strength training bandwagon too.  I have been reading some good articles from Nia Shanks lately, and one of them, about how to put together a workout when you don’t really feel like it, really hit home with me.  I know I need to be strength training regularly and I was quite enjoying it for several months… but little break I took has become extended to a few weeks now and for some reason I just can’t face going back to the same program.
So, I put together a very condensed one based on Nia’s advice, that hits 3 major muscle groups and can be done in 15 minutes.  That will be my re-intro for a couple of weeks and then I will reassess.  I am thinking it is better than doing nothing, and yet doesn’t wipe me out for other types of exercise during my day.

On Monday morning I had a really odd and somewhat disconcerting thing happen to me.  As I was sitting at my computer, reading some email, an odd and ragged shape suddenly appeared in the vision of my right eye.  It flashed on and off for about half an hour… and I felt a wee bit nauseous.  It scared me a bit but it was too early to call my doctor’s office and it did eventually go away so I kind of forgot about it.

So we carried on and both did the new strength routine that morning before showering and going out for breakfast.  Then  we did a new hike along the waterfront for almost 2 hours.  I was quite hungry for lunch by the time we got home.

On Tuesday morning I was determined to get out for a run before the forecasted rain started to fall.  I drank my Fermented L-Glutamine and then we had a light breakfast, waited almost an hour, and then headed out.  I had a chance to wear  a new pair of running capris from Fit Plus Wear – more to come about them – and thoroughly enjoyed the speedy 5 km.

May 27 pants 001

When we got in, I drank a couple of glasses of water and then made us a smoothie to drink while we stretched.  These premade mixes by d’vida are sensational – more to come about that too – and I was kinda sorry we had shared one!  MMMM…. so good.

May 27 Dvida pineapple and coconut 001

After showers we headed out to do some errands in the car. For some reason both of my feet cramped up as I tried to slip on my shoes to go out.  My toes were so tightly cramped that it hurt to stand on them. But I ate some mustard and took some deep breathes to relax, and that eased the cramps almost immediately.  Then  I drank some more water and had a dose of Natural Calm, too.  Eventually I could put on some flip flops, so off we went.  I noticed that my legs felt really heavy for the next few hours.

One of the errands we did was to trade in one of our digital cable tv boxes for a HD PVR. Whoaaaa!  Does this new little gadget make tv a better experience or what? The only reason I like cable tv at all is for the live sporting events it offers because most of the other things I would watch are not on at good times. Now I have recording capabilities!  Hurray for modern technology.  And The Captain is happy too because I am not talking about getting rid of the cable tv anymore!

Then, later that afternoon, I saw something on my computer about a person experiencing eye trouble - a detached retina - and I recalled my experience from the morning before and realized this was the eye that had the retina surgery a couple of years back, so I called my doctor’s office, and spoke with his awesome receptionist.  This woman is so helpful all the time… and she very nicely told me there is nothing they could do for me there but that my husband should take me to the emergency ward at a particular hospital because they have the best neurologists and opthomologists on call there.  She said ‘don’t ignore it… go’.

So, we did. And I was lucky that it was not a very busy day at that emergency ward. I saw a doctor after about an hour’s wait.  A very nice man, I thought, and we talked about what had happened to me.  He told me I shouldn’t feel silly for coming to the emergency ward and that my doc’s assistant had given me good advice. Eye problems should not be ignored.  He had me draw the shape I had seen and describe it in detail. Then he repeated it all back to me to make sure he had understood what I told him. 

Then he said I did not have anything wrong with my eye, but what I had experienced was called a Visual Migraine.    Apparently, not all Migraines come with headaches.   He couldn’t tell me why it happened or what might have caused it, or even if I might ever have another episode.  But he did say that I was lucky that there had been no headache, and that people find it helpful to lay down and sleep if they can, as normally they wake up and the symptoms are gone.  Weird, and somewhat upsetting, but better, I think, than having a serious eye problem.

After we got home and got dinner, I realized my legs had normalized and felt good again.  Perhaps the long hike and the run were too close together?  Perhaps I need to try some new running shoes.

The rest of the week has been somewhat less exciting, thankfully… more strength workouts, more walking, more good eats and today, we are headed to play some tennis after breakfast.  Then we are having lunch out…. fresh shucked oysters on a patio overlooking the Inner Harbour. It is a gorgeous day so I need to get out there!

Here are some of the great reads I came across this week:

Do you have any experience with Migraines? 

Are you an oysters fan?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

And the Birthday Wrap-Up… Late Edition Faves and Raves

My birthday week continued…

Wednesday we began the day with Yoga Weight-Loss Workout For Dummies… it has a 20 minute standing flow and then 15 minutes on the floor and Chris Freytag is a good instructor. Her cuing is very good and although I cannot do all of the poses very well, I do like this DVD. It is one I would purchase for our collection.

May 2 NEW yoga 001

Then later we took in 2 moves at the nearby IMAX Theatre… Vikings: Journey to New Worlds and Madagascar, Island of Lemurs.    And I loved them both.  I don’t think I have been disappointed in any of the IMAX shows we have seen yet and I am really happy we purchased the annual passes at Christmas. 

We followed up the movies with a fabulous sushi lunch at a new-to-us restaurant just a few blocks from home, too.  So nice to find one we like as we have been looking for a while.

On Thursday I was scheduled to work two Weight Watchers meetings…  one over lunch time and another over dinner time. We started the day with an early morning walk along the Strait.  And then when I got home from my evening meeting, The Captain had wine and appies ready for a nice and relaxing after-work snack.

Friday we had planned a lunch outing to an oyster bar downtown, but the weather was a bit gloomy so we decided to put if off for a nicer day, and hit a local mall for lunch ands some shopping.  I found an ankle length Summery skirt and we also picked up 3 nice shirts for The Captain.

The grand finale to the week was on Saturday… my actual birthday day.  It was a beautiful morning so we walked to Clover Point to watch the start of the 5 different Swiftsure races… and The Captain also partook of  the ham and pancake breakfast put on by the local Lion’s Club.  I had packed along some yogurt and strawberries, so we sat in the sunshine, enjoyed our breakfasts and coffees and then cheered on the sailboats getting off to a good start on such a windy morning.

May 24 2014 Swiftsure 002
Start of the main race

Later we headed to the Empress Hotel to the Bengal Lounge, and thoroughly enjoyed the traditional Indian Curry Buffet…


Oh so lovely… I did sample most of the dishes… loved it all, especially the lamb and I have to say the Chai Creme Brulee was unusual to me and quite delicious.  After lunch we enjoyed a leisurely martini before coming home and relaxing for the evening.  It is a beautifully and tastefully decorated room in the old and elegant hotel… leather and dark wood… very British and formal.  I have been wanting to do this for some time so was really pleased to be celebrating my birthday here. 

Thanks to everyone for all the Happy Birthday greetings and messages. I feel totally spoiled and so thankful for it all!  And it is a good thing it is over… I need to get back on track with my food plan TODAY! 

Here are some great blog post finds from the week:

And I also viewed some very worthwhile videos this past week, too.  You all know I am not a huge V-log fan but I do occasionally like them when they demonstrate how to do something:

How about you?  Are you V-log fan?

Have you ever been to an IMAX movie?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It’s My Birthday Week

Week?  Your birthday takes a whole week?

Well, yes, in fact it does.  Ever since I can remember, my birthday celebrations have been strung out over several days. I was born on May 24th, which is the same month and day as Queen Victoria.  I have always loved the name and when I was a child I pretended I was named  Victoria, and called Vickie.

Queen Victoria was born on May 24, 1819. Following the death of three uncles and her father, she became Queen of the United Kingdom on June 20, 1837 and reigned until her death on January 22, 1901. Victoria is still the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.

During Victoria's life, the British Empire expanded considerably. She was a great force to be reckoned with and I have always admired her and take great pleasure in the love story between she and her consort, Prince Albert.  However, her powers as Queen of the United Kingdom were reduced as the House of Commons became more important and powerful in British politics.

Since 1953, the Monday that falls on or before May 24 has been known as Victoria Day, and is a Canadian statutory holiday.
For most of my life it seems my birthday has fallen on the actual stat holiday, or on a weekend.  When I was in school, it was often my sports day or track and field day… I can not recall ever attending classes on my actual birthday.  We often had fireworks on Victoria Day, and I always knew they were for me!
Since The Captain and I sold our house and moved onto the sloop in the Summer of 2002, we have pretty much given up buying gifts for each other for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and so on.  There was not a lot of extra room on board for stuff so we decided to forego traditional gifts… we both prefer experiences to things, and even the simplest of those bring lots of pleasure and smiles.  After you have spent the better part of 12 years in managing the day to day basics of living… water, power, refrigeration… even long hot showers and ice for your drink still often seem like miracles.  I am easy to please and have a great appreciation for the simplest things.
So, we like to string our birthdays out over a week, and do some little thing each day that is especially pleasing or special.  So far my week has shaped up quite nicely.
Sunday began with an hour of yoga practice and then a lovely breakfast…
May 18 breakfast 001
Later we walked along the Strait and the breakwater and on into the Inner Harbour – about 90 minutes of brisk walking – and found a newly opened Starbuck’s location. We made a stop and enjoyed coffee in the sunshine while tourist-watching.  It was a long weekend here so lots of extra people in the city, and the Norwegian Sun was on the cruise ship dock all day so that also brought in a couple thousand more folks to the area.  It almost felt like a carnival, with the buskers, and street vendors, horse-drawn carriages, and tour buses.  The city is certainly at her pretties this time of year.
And this is going to be our new favorite Starbuck’s… only a few blocks from home.  Honestly, most of the Starbuck’s here are in crummy locations… shady, busy streets, small patios, etc.  So hurray for finding  a good one.  And the staff are wonderful. Bonus.  I am saving my Reward treat till later in the week.

Later, we spotted the first ducklings on the lake across the street from our apartment, but haven't been able to snap a picture yet.  Proud Mama swimming them around and I think I counted 12 babes.
Monday was the stat holiday and we thought we might go to the Victoria Day Parade, but after breakfast…
May 19 Breakfast 001
we opted to avoid the crowds and go for another long walk. We drove for a couple of miles up the Strait to the nearby village of Oak Bay, where we had ran our half marathon, and walked along the waterfront there for about 75 minutes.
I spotted this pretty little deer in someone’s driveway and was quite surprised she didn’t scamper off before I could snap a picture of her.
May 19 walk 001
We also spotted a brood of 4 goslings being closely guarded by 6 adult Canada Geese.  Another observer told us there were originally 10 of them...darned crows!

May 19 walk 005
We have always admired these brightly painted chairs that someone has set out on the rocks for passers-by to enjoy.

May 19 walk 006
And it was such a beautiful day…
May 19 walk 004
we decided to stop and check it out.  Too bad someone has vandalized them a bit.

Before I sat down in the chair I noticed that someone had left their wallet on it.  The Captain placed it in his day pack and after we finished our walk and arrived back at the car, we drove to the Oak Bay police station and left the wallet with an officer there.  I didn’t want to go through it looking for id and to be honest, I really didn’t want the hassle of trying to find the owner.  I hope that if I lost my wallet, whoever found it would do the same for me.

Then we picked up some lunch… sushi rolls for me and burgers for The Captain, and drove up to the lookout on Mount Tolmie to enjoy some eats and the 360 degree view.  Honestly, I never get tired of the view.  We could see the snow-capped peaks on Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Mountains in Washington State, and that is just spectacular.  And we could look back to Sidney and see the mountain peaks over the North Shore as well.

Today, Tuesday, The Captain had to see the dentist again.  He needed to have a check up on the surgery/extraction from last week and a filling repaired.  So, that meant a trip to our marina town.  I packed a lunch for us both… apricot smoothie for him, and a chicken salad for me and put them into the cooler. 

While he was visiting the dentist I paid a visit to my regular hair salon, just a few blocks away, to find out if they had any idea about when my stylist might be ready to return to work after the birth of her first baby in December.  Much to my delight she is coming back on a part time basis starting May 31st… so I booked an appointment for the late afternoon of June 4th. The Captain will have his teeth cleaned that afternoon so works well for both of us. 

Then I stopped into a thrift shop to have a browse at dishes… and came away with 3 pasta plates and a little painted ceramic salad plate.  I paid under $5 for all 4 pieces including taxes!

May 20 plates 002
These will be perfect for pasta, zoodles, chilis, stews, etc.  The centre bowl is about 8 inches wide and the whole thing, about 12 inches wide.

May 20 plates 001
I don’t know what this will be used for but it was cute and for 50 cents I couldn’t leave it behind!

After I met up with The Captain, we found a lovely little spot at a waterfront park to enjoy our lunch and then made our way back to the city.  We stopped to purchase a fan to keep things a bit cooler this Summer, and picked up some paint chips… there is a wall in the apartment I would like to have painted a darker color… and then we picked up a basketful of fresh produce at one of my favorite markets before driving the scenic, meandering route back into the city and home.  Mmmm… freggies!

Tomorrow we have tickets to see a couple of IMAX films… and then we are going to have lunch… the rest of the week is loosely planned… a visit to an oyster bar, a martini, and perhaps a curry buffet.  Swiftsure begins on Saturday so The Captain might enjoy a waterfront pancake breakfast there too.  We shall see how it all pans out.

How do you like to spend your birthday?

Friday, May 16, 2014

More NEW… and Friday Faves and Raves

This month is all about exploring and discovering for me… new workouts, foods, running routes, and so on. 

Here are a few of the new things I tried this week:

May 11 2014 Walk to Gonzales and Warbran Park 015
On Sunday we went for a 3-1/4 hour walk/hike up Gonzales Hill to get a look at the old observatory and see the 360 degree views from the top.  Awesome. 

May 14 NEW yoga and tea 004
More new yoga workouts this week.  I really liked both of these a lot.

May 14 NEW yoga and tea 001

May 14 NEW yoga and tea 003
I am a long-time fan of Early Grey tea but had never seen tea offered this way before.  Each of these plastic ‘spoons’ has enough tea to steep one large mugful.  Instead of tea in a bag, it’s a tea in a spoon.  Just steep and stir and then dispose.  Very portable and would be nice for travelling.

May 15  NEW Skinny Cow 002
This variety of apple is called OPAL. New to me, and I like the flavor all right, but the texture is a bit too firm for my taste. I will likely chop them up and eat with some yogurt.  I was quite pleased that I had only purchased 2 of them.

May 15  NEW Skinny Cow 001

May 15  NEW Skinny Cow 003
I picked these Skinny Cow Salted Caramel frozen treats up on a whim. I am not a huge ice cream fan but I do like the fat free frozen DQ bars we get here so thought these might be similar.  Well, they are similar in size and price, but honestly not as tasty.  I was a bit disappointed that the caramel flavor wasn’t stronger… however,  The Captain loves them and caramel is his favorite flavor, so I guess his opinion should hold more weight than mine here.

No running this week.  The Captain had some dental surgery on Tuesday morning and has been laying a bit low in recovery. He did a long walk with me this morning and is feeling pretty good.  I have been keeping him company and also worked some extra meetings this week… Maybe by Monday he will feel like running again.    I also think I have have had a long enough break from strength training that I am starting to miss it and am ready to get back into a regular routine again.

I read some great blog posts this week and thought you might like them too:

What’s new at your house this week?

Any posts you would recommend I check out?  Hey, don’t be modest!  Leave me a link to one of your own if you like.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Some Thoughts About My Running…

I just realized that it was 2 years ago today that The Captain and I ran what I thought would be my first half marathon.  As it seems now, it is likely to be my only-ever official half marathon.  After the race was done, I suffered terrible cramping in my calves, thighs, and quads for about 9 hours.  I was dehydrated, and terribly salt-depleted. 

May 13th Oak Bay Half Marathon 004
Don’t let the smile fool you.  The misery was just beginning.

We had run an 11-mile training run 3 weeks before the race, and I remember that we felt we had peaked at that point.  It was hard but I was elated afterward and felt tired but good.  Then the next weekend we ran an 8-miler before our 2-week taper.  Running what seemed to be only those additional 2.1 miles on race day did me in.  Was it too soon after the 11-miler?  I think it was.

It took me 2 hours 56 minutes and some seconds to finish the 13.1 mile race. I walked most of the last 2 uphill kilometers as I recall.  The cramps started shortly after I removed my running shoes and socks and put on dry ones at the car.  Someone handed me a bottle of water before I got to the snack area and I started to seize up.  A doctor told me I was dehydrated and salt depleted.  I had to keep moving.  It was about an hour or so after the race ended before I could even  sit down in the car to drive home without completely cramping up.

After we arrived home, I couldn’t bear to lay down or even really sit down for more than about 15 minutes before I would start to cramp up again. I was so tired.  I drank water. I ate chips. I drank electrolytes mixed into my water. Nothing seemed to help but the passage of time.  I tried all of my usual recovery aids… compression calf sleeves, compression shorts, eating mustard, drinking pickle juice, drinking gallons of water… hot bath with epsom salts, ice packs, ibuprofen. Eventually, after about 7 hours of wandering, standing, with occasionally sitting,  I started to feel like I could lay down and sleep… which I did, fitfully, until the next morning.

May 14 half marathon celebration on Monday 005
Celebrating on Monday afternoon.

On Monday I felt great… the agony all but forgotten and I announced that I was ready to think about the next one… The Captain was about ready to have me committed!  I think it was almost worse for him watching me go through all that discomfort because he was not able to relieve any of it, than it was for me to to experience it... almost.

Since that time I have been seeking medical advice and although I don’t have all the answers yet, I have learned that my body is losing protein and likely other nutrients through my small intestine. I am waiting for an appointment to have a CT scan.  It’s complicated biology, but what it all comes down to is this… My muscles are not getting the nutrients they need for all of the hard work that running long distances requires of them.  No more half marathons for me at least until I find out what is going on and can fix it.
I am still running… shorter distances by far.  Most of the runs I do now are about 5 km and occasionally I run 6.65 km.  And even at 6.65 km I have been experiencing some cramping in my calves and feet afterward.  I make sure to stretch, and drink lots of water. I have been experimenting with electrolyte drinks.  And lately I have been taking  a supplement called Fermented L-Glutamine.  I sometimes take it after a run or after a particularly hard strength workout and it helps with the cramping and soreness.  But I have learned through trial and error if I take it BEFORE I run, it seems to prevent the cramping from even getting started. My legs feel fresher after a run.

Please understand that I am not recommending this for anyone else.  But here is a bit of information about it so you will see why I am taking it:

What does Glutamine do?
  • Maintains the health of your intestinal tract
  • Helps your body produce glutathione, a key antioxidant nutrient
  • Ensures proper acid-base balance in your body
  • Helps maintain your muscle mass
  • Vastly improves recovery times from injury, surgery and exercise
  • Increases resistance to colds - Glutamine is a primary immune system "booster".
  • Slows the aging process by increasing "youth hormone" - Youth and Immunity Booster Studies have shown 2 grams of L-Glutamine daily increased growth hormone levels by over 400%.
  • Athletes note increased power and endurance.
  • Participates in glycogen synthesis
  • Provides nitrogen compounds for the manufacture of nucleotides which are used to make DNA and RNA.
  • Helps maintain cell volume and hydration
  • Taking L-Glutamine after workouts or before bedtime, times when muscle tissue typically undergoes repair and recuperation can be particularly effective.
- See more at:

There was a blog post recently on Run to the Finish wherein Amanda talks about boosting your marathon training with walking.  She says that not all of the time and distance during training needs to be running – that some of it can be walking – that the point is to put time in on your feet and legs.  

She quotes Jeff Galloway, a well-known marathon runner, trainer, and author…  "While walking takes longer, it will bestow the same endurance as running, while reducing injury risk."

I have been thinking about this since Sunday.

On Sunday after lunch we went for a walk/hike that I thought might take a couple of hours altogether.  There is an observatory a couple of miles from where we live, perched high on a rocky hill.  We have driven by it many many times and I decided on Sunday morning that we should walk up there to see what the view is like from the top. 

May 11 2014 Walk to Gonzales and Warbran Park 001
The observatory is the white building on the top of the hill.  We are still about 45 minutes away at this point.

I put some water and a couple of apples in a small pack and off we went. And I made sure to wear some good walking shoes and compression socks. And I also had a city map in the pack too, which I referred to several times. There are no straightforward routes to anywhere in this part of the city.  It took about an hour and 15 minutes to get to the top.  The last several hundred metres were pretty steep and the view from the top is spectacular.  The observatory itself is no longer open and the building houses some charity offices.  There is a bit of room to walk around at the top of the hill and then a short distance away, also along the top, there is a monument. It is a cairn, erected by the Canadian and Spanish governments in honor of the man who is thought to be the first European sailor to enter the Strait from the Pacific Ocean. 

The views from this point are even more stunning.  You can see 360 degrees and it is so beautiful because there is so much water and so many islands.  My pictures really don’t do it any justice.

May 11 2014 Walk to Gonzales and Warbran Park 010
East and a bit North to Oak Bay and San Juan Island, WA beyond.

May 11 2014 Walk to Gonzales and Warbran Park 008
Gonzales Bay just below us…

May 11 2014 Walk to Gonzales and Warbran Park 006
and further West to Clover Point and home and the Inner Harbour beyond.

We found a different way down the hill, on the opposite side and although it was a beautiful day and we thoroughly enjoyed the outing, the last couple of blocks home were fairly tiring.  All in all it took just over 3-1/4 hours with only a brief stop to eat our apples and have a drink of water.  My feet were darned glad to get my shoes off!  And then I peeled off the compression socks too 'cause they are so warm.  I drank a few more glasses of water, mixed some Fermented L-Glutamine into one of them, did some stretching and then finally sat down on the balcony patio with a big bowl of blueberries and Greek yogurt mixed with protein powder, and a cup of coffee.  Ahhhhh.

No heavy legs.  No leg cramping. No problems.  A good, restful sleep on Sunday evening. 

I had WALKED very briskly for 20 minutes more than it took me to RUN the half marathon.  More time on my feet and legs although without the pounding, I admit.  And certainly not breathing nearly as hard either.  But still…   I am thinking about longer runs again.

I am wondering if I could start running longer again if I don’t do them too close together and allow lots of recovery time,  and if I take the supplements – the Fermented L-Glutamine and the electrolytes, and if I  drink lots of water, and if I wear the compression socks… Maybe, just maybe there is another official half marathon in these legs after all.

I am going to slowly start increasing my long run distance – interspersing it with shorter ones, just as if I were training to see how it goes… But shhhh, don’t tell The Captain just yet.

Any thoughts? 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Trying Some New…. and My Friday Faves and Raves

This week has been all about the NEW and DIFFERENT for me…

May 2 NEW yoga 001

New yoga workouts… We are really loving these ‘Dummies’ DVDS.  Beyond Basic Yoga teaches 11 poses that are slightly more advanced than those on the orginal Basic Yoga DVD, and repeats Corpse Pose. It is just the right pace for beginners like us and takes about 50 minutes to perform.    Yoga Weight-Loss Workout for Dummies is a bit faster paced. There is a 20 minute standing session and a 15 minute mat session. I was surprised how sweaty I got doing this DVD and also how great The Captain’s BOAT pose was. Not me! But I really enjoyed it.

The book, The Easy Yoga Workbook, is a good read. Lots of information about the basic poses and some good tips for doing them.

May 3 NEW breakfast 001

May 6 berries breakfast 001

My latest breakfast obsession…  A bowl of lots of goodies such as berries, banana, nut milk, protein powder, pumpkin seeds, flax, chia, hemp.  Love it.  Who needs eggs?

May 4 NEW tea 001

This Peppermint, Ginger, and Fennel Herbal Tea by President’s Choice…. we have been really enjoying this new tea after dinner.  We normally have a couple of cups of herbal or decaf tea after dinner and then later in the evening I will have a cup of coffee so that I do not wake up with a NEED CAFFEINE NOW headache.  I love this tea.  I am a newcomer to Peppermint Tea and this one has a very peppery aftertaste…. is it the fennel?

May 7 NEW socks 001

I won these neon green Swiftwick socks in a giveaway a while back and just tried running in them for the first time this week.  The package says they are the best running socks you will ever wear. I think they may be right!  They were soaked with sweat when I took them off after my run… my feet were dry, so the wicking certainly works… and they didn’t smell bad either.  Great socks!

And we ran a new 6.65 km route, too. That is just about  4.15  miles, I think.  

And I tried something new in the kitchen this week… I had a clump of dry, hardened brown sugar that I thought I was going to have to toss out.  It was about 2 cups worth.  I googled  how to soften sugar and found some advice that suggested putting a slice of bread into a sealed container along with the sugar for several hours. So I tried it… I put a wee slice of frozen g-f bread into a plastic storage container along with the the sugar, and by the time the bread piece was thawed, that sugar was soft and usable.  Hurray.  Now the trick is to find out how to store it so it doesn’t go hard in the first place.

I read some very helpful and informative blog posts this week:

Anything new with you this week?

Did you read a good blog post I might have missed?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May Update

You may recall that for the month of May I am intent on the NEW… experiences, food, workouts.  It seems I am craving change.  Perhaps it is just because it is Spring.  Or more likely, it is because I was so serious about my strength workouts for the past several months and I got bored with them.  Whatever it is, I have enjoyed this past week of non-routine immensely.

Thanks to a 10 Day Spring Detox I did recently with holistic health coach, Amber Williford, I am no longer stuck eating eggs for breakfast, and have been loving some fruit, assorted nut milks, and seeds, mixed with different protein powders. Not pretty but delicious and filling.

May 6 berries breakfast 001
Mixed berries, coconut milk and vanilla protein powder – power in a bowl!

And there has been no routine to my fitness. I wake up each morning and decide on a workout according to how I feel.  One morning I did a hard and sweaty kettlebell workout followed by some pushups, and the next morning, my legs were a  bit  quite stiff so I did a soothing, stretchy yoga session.  Today I am about to head out for a run.  So, each morning I do some kind of workout and then each afternoon I have been going for a 5 or 6 mile walk. It has been a great way to keep active and enjoy the lovely weather we are having right now. 

Yesterday I put my camera in my pocket before I headed out so will share just a couple of the pics I snapped.  The flowering trees and shrubs are so beautiful here right now…

May 6 Afternoon Walk 007

May 6 Afternoon Walk 009
Chestnut Tree

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May 6 Afternoon Walk 036

May 6 Afternoon Walk 014
And of course I am always drawn to the Strait…

May 6 Afternoon Walk 018
and the boats!

I am just about to map a new neighborhood route for our  morning run… see ya later!

Are you enjoying being outside right now too?

Tell me something fun about where you live.

Friday, May 2, 2014

I May be Up For a Bit of Exploring... Friday Faves and Raves

I live in a beautiful city on the Southern end of Vancouver Island, which also happens to be the capital of our province. It is named for one of our most famous monarchs, Queen Victoria, whose birthday (and mine) on May 24th is a national holiday in Canada, Victoria Day.

Although we kept our sailboat moored in a lovely small town about 20 km North of the city for 12 years, and did some house and pet sitting in the surrounding area, we have only actually lived in the city of Victoria for 2 years. We really have seen so very little of it.  It is full of museums and historic sites, lovely parks, restaurants, and a wide variety of tourist attractions and activities.  People come from all over the world to see this beautiful part of B.C.  It is about time I get out and see more of it for myself.

This month my goal is to explore from 3 to 5 new places each week. I am looking to investigate some tourist attractions, some new hikes, some beautiful parks, new running routes, and to enjoy some restaurants and coffee shops I haven’t been to yet.

May is my birthday month… and we had considered a trip South to Portland, OR for site-seeing and shopping, but I have decided I would rather stay on the Island and be a tourist in my new home town.

Apr 22 Walk around harbor 030
Horse-drawn carriages in front of the Provincial Legislature grounds

Apr 22 Walk around harbor 021
Whale-watching tours from the Inner Harbour

And to take that a step further, I am going to make a point of experiencing as many other new things as I can this month, too.  I hope to find some new recipes, new breakfast ideas, new workouts, new books...  so stay tuned as I share what I am finding and getting up to!

This week I read some really good blog posts… here are a few of them that I hope you might enjoy as well:

How well do you know the area you live in?

Have you ever visited your local tourist attractions to see what they are all about?